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Q: Is it true cats hide when they know they are dying?

May 13, 2008 | By Bonnie G. | 13 answers | Expired: 2398 days ago

I have an 11 year old cat who has cancer, and two days ago she went missing. I'm not sure if she got out, or found a really good hiding spot in the house. My brother told me cats want to die alone. I'm completely heartbroken and if she has passed away I just want to know so I can have some closure. She's never been away from me for more than a couple of hours if she goes outside. I was just wondering if anyone else has had this experience....

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Silver Dragon Pets N.
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May 18, 2008

First off, my condolences to you and your family. Losing a pet is never easy.

When my 12-year old cat passed away from organ failure she tried to hide under the bed, I can only assume to be alone.

I do want to add that most of the time "going off to die" is a cat thing, not a dog thing. While some dogs do wander off to die, for the most part senior dogs also suffer from some level of dementia (doggy Alzheimer's), and once they wander off they can't find their way home. As horrible as it sounds, they often die alone and scared because dogs generally crave the comfort of their human family when it's their time to go.

I do hope that you are able to retrieve your cat either way. I think that would be closure in and of itself.

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phyllis s.
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May 16, 2008

es, I had that happen to me several years ago when my Frances had stomach and bone cancer and also failing kidneys. She was a DLH only 11 years old. I knew she was sick,and I had to administer water thru and IV. She allowed me to care for her for awhile. I was brining her salmon from my restaurant and she refused to est. She didn't want to be with me. She "went to ground". She kept trying to go into the corners of the apartment. I came home one day after work and she died alone in a corner. I have never forgiven myself for not making the decision to euthanize before she died probably very comfortably. I have not made that mistake again, I was younger. I have since had at least 3 cats and one dog, all elderly that I have had to euthanize. It is still sad and painful, but at least I know I made the only choice as to not let them die in pain. I hope this helps.

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Dazycutter
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May 16, 2008

My little cat got hit by a car and was missing for 2 days, but he struggled to get home for help, so not really sure if they do go off to die alone, possibly, but at the end of the day, its their way and as pet owners we need to accept it and not humanise them. really sorry to hear about your puss, but thats the down side, jsut remember the love and joy he brought you.

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Christine
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May 16, 2008

Oh I am so so so very sorry you are going through this!!! This is one of the hardest things to go through in my opinion, I just went through it with my precious kitty last June, and yes, she did do that. She didn't really hide, but she did lay in odd places and in corners with her face towards the corner. That was sooo unlike her as she was always my complete shadow. Animals do indeed know. And you have my deepest thoughts, bless you and your kitty!

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patty
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May 15, 2008

All animals are differ in their reactions to health conditions. Some what the companionship of the "mums and dads" where as some prefer to be alone. I have had an elder cat pass at home and the days before he wanted everyones attention. The day he decided it was his time to move on he went to my bedroom and within a half an hour had moved on to his new world. So it's hard to say what a pet may do. But if you are conserned she may have passed you should look in all nooks and cranies in you house in case she may have gone into hiding.

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Carly T.
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May 15, 2008

I had a dog that did this. She was very old and could barely move. She some how managed to get out off her leash and she ran away and died. Unfortunatley we never found her body. I hope this doesn't happen to you. I am so sorry.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

May 15, 2008

I am sorry you are going through this. Its terribly hard. Every cat and dog I have had has done this prior to death. Some have even hidden in the house and when we located them they had passed away. I feel its one way they protect us from dealing with the pain of their death as well.I think most animals go away when its "their time to leave". If you pet has never left and has been gone for a few days and if you have checked all the shelters, rescues, vets, papers etc. I would feel safe in assuming she is gone. I am so sorry for you. My vet helped my by saying... "the greatest thing is knowing you loved pet is at peace and out of pain" so hopefully that will help you. Know my heart is with you. Keeping you in thought.

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KATHERINE P.
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May 15, 2008

i think that may have some truth to it we had several cats in the past that were sick or old they were always around but took off to die some where alone

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Amber S.
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May 14, 2008

I don't want to upset you by answering this, but I have had 2 cats that wandered off to die. We knew it was near the end for them. I also have a senile older cat, that I am sure if let outside would wander and forget how to get home. I know it is hard t think about but i hope for your sake she comes home one last time.

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Kelly
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May 14, 2008

I have had a 3 year old cat and a 11 year old dog die in the last 10 weeks. The cat was indoor only & kept trying to hide the days leading up to his death. The dog went in the far corner of the yard and was hiding behind a bush the day before he died.

I think they know they are dying and their instincts tell them to hide/protect themselves from others.

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